Scouts camp out, play games and do science at Busse Woods camporee
More than 4,500 Scouts, leaders and parents converged on the Busse Woods Forest Preserve in the Northwest suburbs this weekend to do what Scouts typically do at a jamboree. And some things they don't.
Besides camping out, cooking, fishing, rock climbing and archery, Boy, Girl and Cub Scouts soldered circuit boards, programmed and launched rockets, and dabbled in chemistry as part of Future Frontier, the inaugural scouting camporee sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America Pathway to Adventure Council, which serves more than 21,000 Scouts in Illinois and Indiana.
The goal of Future Frontier is to provide Scouts an opportunity to engage in STEM-related activities -- in science, technology, engineering, math -- as well as more familiar scouting activities, said camporee Chairman Robert Gale, describing it as a nontraditional scouting path."
"Scouting can provide more than people think," he said.
Veteran Scouts and their leaders stayed overnight Friday and Saturday in colorful tents pitched in the open fields between the groves.
Rob Elkin, leader of Schaumburg Troop 392, and his fellow volunteers chaperoned 13 Scouts overnight. The drop in temperature didn't bother them, said Elkin, whose Scouts have trained to camp in cold weather.
Not everyone fared as well.
"It wasn't too bad," said Lillian Tait, 11, of Chicago, who belongs to a Mount Greenwood troop.
"But she was freezing," she said, pointing at her friend and tentmate.
Among the most popular activities were the games that included human Foosball, an inflatable ball toss, an inflatable slide, sling shot practice, an obstacle course, a climbing wall and archery.
Eight-year-old Victor Kuzuhara of Des Plaines practiced his skills with help from his father, Giliberto.
Victor, a Cub Scout for several years, has attended similar jamborees.
"This is more fun," he said.
Elkin says sharing these kinds of experiences with his son is gratifying, and so is watching him and other Scouts "grow into good young men."
While his Scouts were off participating in activities and playing games, Elkin and other leaders cooked dinner, four full-size chickens and a beef brisket to be served to eight Cub Scouts that Elkin referred to as "recruits."
Four-year-old Iker Vazquez of Chicago doesn't need to be recruited. He'll likely follow his older brother into scouting when he's old enough, said his mother, Martha Vazquez.
"It's great that they have a chance to experience something new," she said. "It's not an experience you can get in a classroom."